4/28, Feeding Behavior

Evidence continues to accumulate that red-tail nest at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine has baby(s) in it. When I arrived there today about 6:15, Isolde was in the middle of what was plainly feeding behavior, standing up but bent over the nest with her rear end moving around as she fussed in the nest. (No sign of a fuzzy head popping up to be fed yet.) This lasted until about 6:25 when she turned around and flew out carrying the inedible garbage. Eventually I found her perched atop one of the new apartment buildings on Douglass Ave., where she stayed for 10 minutes before returning to the nest

Isolde in Her Nest

But wait, there are two hawks up there. Apparently while I'd been looking east at Isolde, Norman had decided to visit the nest. Perhaps he was delivering another meal?

A half minute later one hawk took off and I vainly followed north to see where it went. Returning to the nest, I found another (the other?) flying out and over the roof of the hospital.

A few minutes later I found one of the two perched atop the roof of the new wing of the hospital, where it stayed until 7:00. Meanwhile, all quiet at the nest.

Posted 4/28/2011 09:35:00 PM by Robert

4/26, Cathedral Hawk Hatch

Signs today finally suggested that egg(s) had hatched had occurred at the red-tailed hawk nest at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and that it probably happened several days ago. When I first arrived there early this evening, one adult was perched on the edge of the nest, halfway keeping an eye on the interior. The other flew up a minute later, there was a short confab.

Two Hawks Confab

And then the first took off.

One Hawk Enters, One Hawk Leaves

The second kept an eye on things for about five minutes and perhaps fussed about inside the nest for a moment before also taking off. The nest was then left unattended for 25 minutes, aside from about a half minute of one of the parents briefly perching on the statue of St. Gabriel up on the rooftop.

Isolde returned about a quarter to seven, spent a minute eyeing the situation.

Isolde Checks the Baby(s)

And then settled down in the nest.

Although this was a pretty warm day, the long period in which the nest was unattended suggests that all the nestling(s) in there are more than a day or two old. Hawkwatching along Morningside Drive should start getting more interesting during the next week.

Posted 4/26/2011 07:44:00 PM by Robert

4/21, Just Say When

It's been 34 days since Isolde took to her nest at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and it seemed like egg brooding had started. This suggests that an egg should already have hatched, but so far no one has reported seeing feeding activity, the only evidence that we'll get of nestlings until they're old enough to peek out of the nest.

Early this evening I caught a switch-off at the nest, as Isolde returned from a dinner and/or recreational break and Norman exited from temporary nest duty. Both before and after, the adult in the nest was hunkered down and out of sight.

Isolde Returns to Her Nest

Isolde Returns to Her Nest

Posted 4/21/2011 07:31:00 PM by Robert

4/17, Any Day Now

Four weeks ago, both the Cathedral and Highbridge Park red-tail nests had mamas starting to brood. But apparently neither has had a hatch just yet.

After Saturday night's vicious rainstorm, I headed up to Dyckman Street to check on the state of the Highbridge/Swindler Cove nest. Martha was fussing around just as I got there, but settled down before I could get some glass on the nest.

Martha in Her Nest

Minutes went by. Some more minutes went by. Finally after 20 minutes, her mate George arrived.

Highbridge George

But he wasn't there to take a turn at nest duty. He was just hanging out on a branch 40 or 50 feet away. Preening. Ignoring the blue jay and the cardinal, etc.

Highbridge George

All quiet in the nest, and George just preening. Another 30 minutes went by. Then George took off. More time went by.

Martha in Her Nest

Finally Martha got up and fussed around some more.


Martha in Her Nest

But no feeding behavior, and no sign of a little white fuzz ball in the nest.

But any day now.

Ditto at the Cathedral nest which I have briefly checked each of the last several days. No action there, but the timing is nigh.

Posted 4/18/2011 04:17:00 AM by Robert

4/10, Highbridge Sunday

With the the cold, wet weather we've had much of the past two weeks, I've worried about the mama hawks brooding eggs in old-school tree nests. Sunday I headed up to Highbridge Park, across from Swindler Cove, to see how Martha was doing.

I took the high route to see if I could get a side or even down-angle view of the nest. I made enough noise doing so that Martha heard me coming. Frankly, it looked like she was laughing at me.

Martha in Her Nest

I moved around for the next 20-30 minutes, continually trying to find a better viewing spot. But the HB nest is a real bear to view and there are always twigs in the way.

Martha in Her Nest

Eventually I moved to a lower but closer spot.

Martha in Her Nest

It was pretty quiet the entire time I was there. As I headed out, I looked back over my shoulder to find Martha had stood up and was in position to rotate her eggs. 20 seconds later she was hunkered back down.

No sign of Martha's mate George the entire time I was watching.

P.S.: Happy birthday, Mom!

Posted 4/10/2011 11:52:00 PM by Robert

4/7, Preening in the Sun

The sun broke out this afternoon and the early evening was nice out, albeit a little cool.

On the south side of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, I found two of the peacocks out enjoying the evening. One of the blue dudes was perched in front of the old orphanage.

Cathedral Peacock

While the white guy was perched on a bench on the lawn, preening in the low-angle sun.

Cathedral White Peacock

And wondering what I wanted.

Cathedral White Peacock

Over on the other side of the cathedral, all was quiet at the red-tail nest. The only activity I've caught in the past two weeks has been the occasional sighting of a wiggling tail as Isolde rotated her eggs.

But as I walked up Morningside Drive, Norman blew over, and I found him perched on the Warren Hall water tower.

Norman on West 116th St

Apparently he had fulfilled his familial duties for the day, as he spent the next twenty minutes plus preening in the setting sun and occasionally doing a little hawk yoga.

Norman on West 116th St

Posted 4/07/2011 09:03:00 PM by Robert